Sunday, October 07, 2018

Our First Fencing Competition

Jonah and Coach Gromov (photo by Jason Davis)
Jonah competed in his first fencing tournament this past month. It was a local, unsanctioned affair but was still hard on the nerves for all of us. Jonah contracted a cold the week before and missed practice the whole week prior. My momma-bear side hated knowing the odds were against him performing well and that he would likely have a negative first experience with competing. Having never witnessed a tournament before let alone been a participant, there were a few things about the process which added a layer of bewilderment atop the frustration of not feeling well. He left with a combined sense of confusion, fatigue and disappointment. Afterwards, we chalked the whole thing up to a good learning experience over lunch and dessert at Culver's as a celebration of making it through his first fencing tournament.

The next day, he went to practice at my behest despite not feeling up to it. It turned out not to be a great idea. He became exhausted before practice was even over, and the next day awoke with a terrible cough that hung on longer than expected. 

As a result, I have come to the realization that we both have some things to learn that simply can't be taught except by experience. He has to learn how to lose, and by this I mean lose well, with grace and without taking it as utter defeat, while I have to learn how to judge when he is genuinely spent and not just uncommitted. 

There are other tournaments on the calendar in the coming weeks. Of course, I hope he does well, but more importantly I want us to enjoy the journey keeping in mind that sometimes the greatest victories do not come through winning. 

Jonah during a preliminary fencing bout (Photo by Jason Davis)

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